Friday, January 8, 2021
MSD 114 Families,
Happy New Year to all of you, once again. We are excited and all looking forward to the students returning back to in-person learning, starting Tuesday, January 19th. I want to personally thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we are spending the first two weeks back from winter break in a remote learning environment. If the report of new positive cases over the last few days are any indication, then it seems these two weeks will have been much needed in our efforts to keep our school environment as safe as possible. With only one more week of remote learning before we return to in-person as well, I wanted to take this opportunity to send out a few reminders and updates.
Beginning on Monday, January 11th, we will begin the daily “Self Certifying” once again. I understand that some individuals may feel it is not necessary to do before we return to in-person learning, or to do at all, however it is an important part of how we are able to prevent the transmission inside of the schools. Our school nurses are the individuals who track the daily certifications and communicate with our families. If you choose not to self-certify before January 19th, we would ask that you please contact the nurse at your child(ren)’s school and let them know if they become symptomatic, test positive, or an individual in your family tests positive so that the nurse may work with your family to determine the date that is safe for your child(ren) to return. We rely on our communication with our families and cannot thank you enough.
We would also like to remind both families and staff to please remain home if they or anyone they have been a close contact with are being tested and awaiting results. Even though you may not be symptomatic, it is important to wait until the test results have been returned before returning to school. If the result is positive, then the quarantine time will have already begun. If both a Rapid Test as well as a PCR or Send Out test were performed, we must wait on the results of both tests to be returned before a decision regarding returning to school is made. Although the CDC has issued new guidance that includes a possible shortening of the 14-day quarantine period to 10 days, we are still requiring the 14 days. The reason is due to the fact that in order to shorten the period from 14 days to 10 days, there are criteria that we simply cannot meet or guarantee, especially the minimum 6 feet distance at all times.
We would also like to include a reminder that if one student in the family is staying home for illness all students must stay home until we have an alternate diagnosis or confirmation that it is not a positive COVID-19 case.
Lastly, we understand that the winter break is a time that either for family reasons or vacation reasons, families will elect to travel, either within the States or abroad. During the pandemic, almost every location is considered to be high risk. As such, we are providing the following guidance you may wish to consider from the CDC:
After You Travel
You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread the virus to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may pose a risk to your family, friends, and community after your travel.
● Consider getting tested with a viral test 3–5 days after your trip and reduce non-essential activities for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, consider reducing non-essential activities for 10 days.
● If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
Also take these actions for 14 days after you return from travel to protect others from getting COVID-19:
● Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you, particularly in crowded areas. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
● Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces outside of your home, including when using public transportation.
● If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home.
● Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
● Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
● Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick.
Once again, thank you for your continued support and understanding. We will not soon forget the year 2020 and even though we have begun a new year, there is still much to be done in 2021. Living and serving such a great community and so many wonderful families fills me with hope and optimism. Thank you for all of your kind words and the show of support.